'Weaving the past with threads of memory': narratives and commemorations of the colonial war in southern Namibia
This study seeks to contribute to the literature on the colonial war, genocide and memory studies in Namibia. I review the way in which communities in southern Namibia have developed practices in which to recall and re-enact the colonial war by focusing on narrative genres and public commemorations. I also document how these practices in southern Namibia and the Northern Cape, South Africa symbolically connect and cut across colonial and national borders. I have used the idea of re-constructed and sensorial memory practices within which to view the various narrative genres which display a range of performance repertoire projected onto persons, monuments and land. The study also focuses on the ways in which these memory practices are engaged in order to develop strategies within which to historicise practices of freedom. These have been inserted in the dialogue on national reconciliation through the debates on reparations and the repatriation of human bodies exported to Europe during the colonial war. I argue that these practices depart from a conventional way in which to view an archive and history, and that these memory practices point to the ways in which the logic and acts of the colonial war and genocide were diametrically opposed through acts of humanisation.